When the concepts behind WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Instagram were first drawn up, what were the reactions? Were they initially scoffed at?
That's the thought on my mind as I browse through the Indiegogo page for VozzApp, a social media service in-the-making that sounds a whole lot like Vine, just without the video. It's the brainchild of Mumbai teenager Advait Saravade, who introduces the idea in the video below:
If you're unable to watch the video, the concept is simple. Just as Instagram allows you to connect to people around the globe via photos, VozzApp is a social network that instead focuses on sound. The app would allow users to record 60-second audio clips to send to their friends or out into the world. The running theme of Saravade's campaign is that VozzApp will allow you to "hear the world speak."
My gut reaction was admittedly lukewarm. Why would I want to record audio when so many apps already allow me the option to record video? It doesn't take a Buggles fan to know that the radio star didn't kill himself.
But then I started ruminating on the question I posed up top: How many doubters saw something like Instagram and immediately thought, "Why would I want another app to do something I can already do on Facebook?"
Yet Instagram took off, mostly on the appeal of its many filters. VozzApp promises a similar feature, powered by the audio algorithms of LittleEndian, which would let you record your voice like Darth Vader or with autotune effects like T-Pain. Apps like Instagram and Vine succeed because they entertain their users' creative impulses. VozzApp appears to offer something similar, so there's no reason it couldn't take off. Heck, it just might be simple enough to work. Maybe it becomes a haven for the camera-shy or plays host to a new generation of audio dramatists. These things are almost impossible to predict, but are not beyond the scope of plausibility.
All that said, even if you're not wild about the idea, you gotta credit Saravade for his gusto. His is an ambitious plan that, like so many other crowdfunded tech endeavors, has no guarantee of success. But just read his hopes for the project and you can't help but be impressed:
"I could say that I am not trying to change the world here and sound modest, but I do intend to change the world. I want to be the guy who inspires other teenagers to get off their ass and dedicate themselves to doing something great. This initial funding round on Indiegogo will help me get the initial traction required to secure venture funding by this time next year. I want to make this social network a good one, and your backing could help me achieve that."
You can learn more about Vozzapp at Indiegogo. As of this writing, it's raised $215 of its $10,000 goal after one day of crowdfunding. The campaign will end September 16.
Below, Crowdfunder CEO Chance Barnett discusses the collaborative byproducts of disruption, using his own experience as an example: